AUSTIN, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott provided an update on Texas’ COVID-19 figures on Thursday and issued a new executive order mandating a two-week quarantine for travelers who arrive to Texas by plane from the New York area and New Orleans.
With about 21,000 people in the state tested as of Thursday, Abbott said that 1,424 Texans have tested positive, 18 have died and 100 more remain hospitalized. Those cases are spread out over 90 counties, he said.
Abbott’s new executive order mandates a two-week quarantine order from people who fly into Texas from the states New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the city of New Orleans.
Abbott signed the order after consulting with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he said. Those areas have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
Anyone flying into the state from those areas will have to give state officials details on where they will be quarantined, like the house or hotel room they are staying in. Texas Department of Public Safety troopers will visit that location to ensure the individual is quarantined.
During their quarantine, they are not allowed to visit public sites or have any visitors, Abbott said. They can travel in a car on roads.
Violating the quarantine is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and 180 days in jail, Abbott said.
Abbott said recent projections suggest Texas is progressing in its fight against the new virus through social distancing measures and executive actions taken at the state and local level. Still, he urged Texans to maintain that practice.
“It is essential that you continue those practices,” Abbott said.
Abbott also gave a coronavirus testing update, revealing that Texas has now processed more than 21,000 tests.
“We are on a very good trajectory,” Abbott said. “I expect that to increase.”
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
“With each day we get closer and closer to eventually being able to put this behind us,” Abbott said.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE FROM KSAT: